May 13

May 13/16 Getting ideas for your Journal Writing

Other Kenaston students have completed the same type of journal writing as you are going to soon. Their entries are only in response to “The Michelle I Know”. You’ll be able to get an idea of how they took on the persona of a character to create these fictional writing pieces along with some creative techniques like:

  • spreading out the dates of when the entries were written
  • deciding which character’s perspective to write from
  • school appropriate language but you can be creative with your language choice
  • explore the emotions the character may be feeling – the highs and lows
  • you can play with writing using inference – things hinted to for the reader but not expressly told
  • you can vary sentences – their length and formation, include some for dramatic effect and others for narrative use
  • you can think of a creative ending – something to surprise a reader
  • you can write as if these entries happen along with the storyline plot or they might occur and foreshadow their beginning or you could explore what happens once the storyline portion has ended
  • Lots of potential in this type of writing assignment.


I’ll post these examples as comments below.  Thanks to Bethany, Bernice, Kaity, and Eve for giving permission to use these blog entries.


Posted May 13, 2016 by Waldner in category ELA B10

4 thoughts on “May 13/16 Getting ideas for your Journal Writing

  1. Waldner (Post author)

    Student Sample:
    **Journal entry in response to “The Michelle I Know” Part 3 out of 3**

    February 1st

    A new nurse came in today; she smiled and asked what I was drawing, I showed her the dead flower sketch I had been working on since I threw that vase. She sat down and looked long and hard at it. She finally commented on it saying it looked sad and lonely. I was glad that she stayed and drew with me, she wasn’t very good but I taught her some things that Mia told me. I started crying and she calmed me when she talked. She told me about the time she and her older brother went to an amusement park and he threw up all over her father’s shoes, she was eight and he was 25. I couldn’t stop laughing. She said he plays guitar, and that he has cancer too and has had it for eight years; he has been in and out of here for a long time. She talked about her favorite songs and about flowers that she has in her garden. I realize now that I don’t even know her name.

    I just dropped my book and walked around trying to find her, she was in Miss. Rinkette’s room, the one with creepy cats that sometimes wonder into my room. Brenda is her name, but she looks more like a Charlotte. I came back quickly to write it down so I won’t forget.

    Lunch was awfully easier to eat today, Brenda kept popping in to see what I had drawn and I would show her. This was a lot better than having the others over. Okay I take that back I want the others to come, speaking of the others Rob should be here soon, and I’ll show him the wig my mom got for me the other morning. I can’t wait for him to meet Brenda.

    Rob came by and gave me my homework, I showed him the sketches, he wasn’t as appreciating as Brenda but at least he got to meet her. I think that today was a great day. I hope I’ll get to meet Brenda’s brother soon, he sounds like a great person, and funny. Rob snuck some candies into my room and gave me some; I haven’t had any for so long that I forgot how they tasted. I should have written when I ate candy so I could look back and see when I ate one last was. I wonder what Rob will bring me tomorrow, but for now I’m going to go to bed. This is Michelle signing off.

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    May 16, 2012 by
    **Journal entry in response to “TheMichelle I Know” Part 2 out of 3**

    January 29th

    My mom brought a few of my things to my hospital room you know posters and stuff; I saw this and just picked up where I left off. It feels like forever since I saw it last. The purple-black cover, the red-green pages look so deadly to me now. I wish it was black and white; it would be a lot easier if everything was black and white. Now the colors make me sick and ready to vomit.

    I cried again for 20 minutes, I kicked everything around the room; then I sat in the corner and cried. The book was just sitting there so I picked it up and wrote again. How did I not see this? My father left, my mother works late more often now, and Rob and Mia are at school, they are the only two who still care to visit anymore. Nick and Jaden are too busy to come over with football, Harley just stopped coming deciding I wasn’t important enough. Katrina and Tara are dancers so they have no time for me. I remember when we all danced together, music, singing, laughter; I miss it all.

    Rob and Mia should be here in a few minutes, they always come by to drop off homework and tell me how the day went, if Rob won the last football game or if Mia got ribbons in her art shows. I just wish she would bring some of her paintings over so I can hang them in this dull room. Oh Rob’s here, I’ll write in a bit.

    I don’t believe it, Mia isn’t coming anymore, she can’t risk any depression feelings for her art competition this weekend, that’s what Katrina said, negative feelings will affect her dancing, Tara agreed. Rob is all I have left, the nurses here don’t like to interact with me, they feel sorry but just come in and scribble on their little board and leave. I feel like throwing something at something or just screaming. I’ll settle for throwing something.

    There, that feels better, broken flower vase with dead flower. The wall is wet and has a pedal from the flower sliding down the wall. The flower just reminded me that I was once pretty and now I am dead to the world. The pedal sliding down reminds me of the time I have left it makes me sad again.

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    May 16, 2012 by
    **Journal entry in response to “The Michelle I Know” Part 1 out of 3**

    September 16th

    I’m sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. There are magazines on the table beside me and healthy heart posters all over the walls. There is a man across the room at the end tapping the chair’s arm. Tapping anxiously, waiting, hoping, and praying. An elderly woman comes around the corner and puts her hand on his shoulder and he helps her out the door into the long hallway with shapes hanging from the roof. Red heart, pink triangle, blue circle, green square, red heart, pink triangle, blue circle, green square. I can’t read the magazines, I can’t sit still, and I can’t listen to the small television in the corner so I write. My mother is reading a ‘Homes’ magazine she wants to upgrade our place so it looks like the pictures in the books. I saw an old man being rushed in on a stretcher and an aged lady following slowly. I’m sorry for her because she was just sent to sit in here to wait. A doctor in a light blue coat calls a name and a lady that was reading a ‘People’ magazine got up to follow him out of the room.

    Over the past half hour I have seen nothing but people being pushed on stretchers, hockey on TV, and mother flipping through a garden, and a home renovating magazine. I have thought a lot, about school, about the football team’s victories to come, about the art club, and about my friends. I hope that nothing changes for me and Vanessa doesn’t kill my social status off at school. She has always made my life difficult, because I am natural at a lot of things, she is only jealous. The doctor called my name so I am going to walk down an endless hallway of sickness.

    I take back the endless hallway of sickness; it was the hallway of death. I have cancer! I’m going to be locked in this prison of the dying and healing and spend my last few hours of my life here. We are in the car now, mother is trying not to cry and I’m just trying not to scream. I want to go back to being a little kid when all I had to worry about was scraped knees, not cancer! I hate this, my heart stops every time I think of the word. The doctor says the weak feeling and tiredness is because of the illness, he said illness, not even able to say cancer because it ruins lives, and now he just ruined mine.

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  2. Waldner (Post author)

    Eve’s Sample:

    My English class has been given the assignment to write three journal entries from the point of view of a fictional character in response to the story The Michelle I Know. All of the following is completely imaginary.

    November 5th, 2011

    It shouldn’t have happened to me
    I’m still young, I have a life too
    This isn’t supposed to happen to kids like me
    I never should have told Mom about the pains I was having over the past few weeks
    I would have been able to then I could have died quickly
    And not have to go through all the pain, shame, and loneness I now have to endure
    I didn’t do anything to deserve it
    The doctors have done every test they can, but it must be a mistake, they have to have got it wrong
    If they haven’t made a mistake
    I won’t make it
    I won’t be able to last all the pain, treatments, needles…
    What about rob? I just met him; we’ve only gone out once. Now he’s going to leave me. All my friends will too.
    Even if they do come it won’t be worth it
    Nobody in their right mind stays with someone who has cancer; they know it’s a death sentence.
    My life is over
    I’m 16 and I’ll only probably live for a few more months, a year tops
    I’m going to have to shave my head, cause it all fall out eventually
    My hair is the only attractive part about me
    Without it I’m bald, sick, dying, and ugly
    Nobody will ever like me
    Or even look twice
    Then I’ll get ugly scars, and bruises, and marks
    I can’t get any worse
    The treatments start tomorrow
    I wonder if it’s as bad as they say it is
    The throwing up, constant pain
    Will it change me?
    They say some people react badly to the drugs
    That’ll probably be me
    What if I hallucinate start seeing things?
    Or forget stuff?
    Slowly I’ll get worse and worse
    My family will eventually just stop visiting
    I won’t blame them, cause who like hospitals?
    Right now they say they won’t
    But I know the truth
    Everyone, even the doctors, say it’s not that bad
    That I can fight it
    I see the truth in their eyes
    There is no hope
    I might as well not even try
    I mean what hope is there of having a normal life if you have cancer
    I won’t go to school again
    I won’t play sports again
    I won’t go to college
    I won’t get a boyfriend
    I won’t get married
    I won’t have kids
    I’ll die alone
    I’d rather die now
    Everything will go down from here
    Why should I even try?
    I just tell them I quit
    And they should leave me at home
    That way I can at least wither away in the comfort of my own home
    Away from prying eyes, jabbing needles, and lying faces
    They say they know what it’s like
    They have no idea
    They say I’ll it’ll get better
    They are wrong
    They say they’ll visit
    But I’ll be alone
    They say they care
    But I don’t
    January 18th, 2013

    A lot has happened since I last wrote in here. And I’ve changed a lot too. I can’t believe I used to write like that all dark and gloomy, but I guess I didn’t understand my situation and I thought I was just going to die. I’m better now! Especially because…
    My cancer has started going into remission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The doctors brought the good news this morning. I’ll be able to go home in a few hours!!!! If all goes well… but I’m sure it will, cause they don’t lie to you, I’m sure. What am I worrying about I’ve even been feeling better and the doctors look happier, of course I’m going to be all right.
    I have so many people to tell, who should I start with. My family. But the doctors have probably already told them. So rob. Nah I’ll surprise him tonight by going over. Brenda that’s who I’ll tell, Brenda. But she will probably find out soon enough anyways. Well that leaves Claude. Yah, I’ll start with Claude, cause he’s helped me so much through all of this crap stuff. I’m going to go over to his room now.
    * * *
    Claude had a surprise for me!!! When I walked into his room he started talking about him and Brenda before I even had a chance to say anything!! They obviously were talking in the hallway and they started to realize how much they have in common. So of course I had to start bugging him! He turned all red and murmured it wouldn’t work. And I was like, sure Claude sure. They’d be so cute together. I know that he is like ten years older but they’d be perfect, besides age is just a number. Then he told me had another surprise. He pulled out a guitar from behind his bed and told me it was mine. I said thank you and told him about me going into remission. He was soooo happy. I asked him to play for me one more time. And he did. We talked for a while and then just before I left, Claude said that every time I come back to visit him he will teach me a little more on the guitar.
    So I am, trying to play a little on the guitar. I’m not very good thought. But I can do more now that Claude taught me some. Oops, Nurse has just arrived with my meds saying I can leave now. Hooray!!!!
    I am finally back in my own bedroom after almost two years. It’s like heaven! I will be able to eat normal cooking. Do what I want, when I want. Go back to school, and best of all no more needles, no more tests, no more doctors, no more treatments, just me! I hope I can stay here for a while and get back to my normal life. If the medication keeps working like it is now, I’ll be fine.
    Looks my life is getting better every time. Now off to surprise Rob!!!!


    February 22, 2014

    The leukemia has come back. I’m going to the hospital now. I don’t think it will be as bad as before. Especially since I have medication and have done chemo before. The doctors also said that it wasn’t as strong as before. Plus I’ll have Rob, Brenda, Claude and my family. IT shouldn’t be that bad. I mean I survived it before when I fought back. Now I’m older stronger and prepared. I can do this.
    On the way to the hospital I went over to Rob’s to let him know that the cancer has returned. When he told me things wouldn’t work out. Let’s just say I was a little shocked and a little hurt especially since I wasn’t expecting it. I thought we had something good. I thought he loved me. I loved him. I didn’t even tell him the news. It’s not like he cares anymore. Plus I wouldn’t want him to stay with me out of pity. I’ll be fine without him. Oh who am I kidding? I loved him. I feel weak and worthless now. Why bother even trying to fight cancer if you can’t hold down a boyfriend when you’re in remission, let alone when you’re doing treatment!
    So now I am ion the hospital waiting for my new meds. I am going to go look for Brenda. At least she’s always here for me.
    I have just found out that Brenda and Claude are on their honeymoon. Yes that’s right – they got married. I wasn’t told, I wasn’t invited, I knew nothing!!! Now I am all alone in this dreadful hospital. Before I had people to talk to, friends to come visit and a dream. Now I have nothing. I feel betrayed! Everyone has left me but my family. And the only reason they still come id because they have to. Why me?! I don’t deserve this!! I can handle the cancer, but not all alone. I guess there is always the guitar, it got me through last time.
    I was just interrupted by a little girl who walked into my room and told me she was going to die. She said her name is Isabella. She is 6 years old and she was just diagnosed with leukemia. I explained to her that she is not going to die. She just has to keep fighting. I asked her about her friends and family. She talked for a long time about all of them. I told her those people will support her and help her win the battle. And then all the dancing, toys, swimming, and artwork. She is one busy little girl! After all that she said she was scared. When I asked her why she told me she didn’t want to miss all those things. I told her all she has to do is fight really hard and she’ll be better in no time. She asked me to be her friend and I said yes. I told her she could visit anytime she wanted. She said she had to go because her family was coming. She said she would show them to me later. I guess she taught me something, I have to keep fighting. Cause if I give up then what does that show kids like her? She said she will come back often and I am looking forward to it.
    Isabella brought her family with her and both her parents thanked me very much for what I said. They said Isabella won’t stop talking about me. They were talking for a while after that but I really wasn’t listening because I was watching Isabella’s older brother. And he was watching me!!!! He’s a real hottie and I think I may have gotten over rob. Right before the Kimsin family he walked over to be and slipped me a piece of paper. It was his number!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His name is Dan Kimsin!!!!! I called him later on and we talked for a long time. Turns out he’s my age and he’s coming to visit me tomorrow. I can’t wait. Oh I forgot to mention the Isabella was there too and she brought me a picture of us together when we are both cancer free. That girl is a really good drawer. I’ve learned a lot today and made some new friends.
    I guess all things are meant to be. And today proved that.


  3. Waldner (Post author)

    Bernice’s Sample:

    April 15th, 2010 – 7:28 PM
    Disclaimer: This is a fictional journal entry ELA assignment in response to the short story, “The Michelle I Know.”

    It feels extremely odd to be writing in this old diary again. I told Mum to bring me a box of my belongings from my room because it’s been like six months since I’ve been home – and look what she coincidently brings me. I’ve been dying to write again instead of lying around, doing nothing but listen to old cranky Mrs. Begbie. I swear, if she moans about her sore head one more time –

    Anyway, things have been improving for me so much! Doc says that I’m recovering steadily and EXTREMELY CLOSE to remission! Whoo! The best news I’ve heard in a long time. I can actually walk around my room without help now, even though I get exhausted after a few minutes. It’s the most wonderful feeling ever. I’ve had a few pains in my legs and arms these last weeks, and a bit of a frequent headache that I hadn’t had before. I told Doc and he just reassured me that it was some after effects of chemotherapy… Whatever.

    In a few days, I’ll be able to go home! I can sleep in own bed! Thank God, because I’m quite sick of having needles struck into my arm all the time, lying around in bed feeling half-dead, and eating the mushy hospital food. The only thing I’ll miss, though, is Claude and Brenda. The only friends I have at the moment. I admire Claude so much, especially his calm integrity towards his condition. He’s a strong person that I aspire to become someday. And what can I say about Brenda? She’s like my best girlfriend. Honestly she can get on my nerves sometimes but she’s pretty nice to talk to when you’re feeling upset.

    Oh how much I’ve missed being an ordinary teenage girl. I remember the days before I was sick, when I was actually HAPPY and felt like I fit in. The sleepovers with Eleanor and Danielle, chilling at the mall, riding bikes in the park, going for a swim in the lake. I don’t know why, but ever I’ve been diagnosed, I’ve seen less and less of my two friends. I think that they’re actually avoiding me or something; they’ve made so many excuses that they can’t visit me regarding schoolwork, dances, and all the other crap. It’s like they don’t want to associate with me anymore. They’re such supportive friends and I’m so lucky to have them, of course!

    At least I still have Rob, though. Lately, he’s been seeing me more often than usual- we’ve spent some time together, playing some board games, talking, watching some movies. He brought his guitar so that he could strum some songs for me, and I literally cried- I thought I’d never hear him play again. I love him so much because he’s the only one who’s still holding my world together, who’s always there for me when I need it. It’s hard to find a guy as sweet as him, and I sometimes wonder why he hasn’t dumped me hard like all the other kids have. Who’d want a BALD FREAK as a girlfriend? No one I know besides Rob, that’s for sure. There’s millions of girls out there who are more beautiful than I am. Girls with curvy bodies and sweet smelling and lush hair, who have more to offer than me – a sick, weak naked stick who’s an embarrassment to her own friends. Why is he still holding on?

    April 27th, 2010 – 10:43 AM
    Disclaimer: This is a fictional journal entry ELA assignmentin response to the short story, “The Michelle I Know.”

    I don’t think I’ll make it. My hands are shaking so bad. My head is pounding.

    As soon as I got home, I barely even got a chance to soak into the feeling of happiness and comfort. The moment that I stepped in through the door, I got this unexpected, SEARING headache. It was like someone SMASHED my brain apart. Later, my stomach reacted and I vomited several times, even though I hardly ate anything. Mom rushed me to hospital the next day, straight to the doctor who did a few scans of me to see what was wrong. He concluded that there had been a brain tumor that was slowly killing me THIS WHOLE TIME. The rest of the cancer has spread rapidly across my entire body. Like an unwanted surprise. Why didn’t the doctors realize it before? It’s too late now to do anything. They can’t save me.

    I’m back in the same room, the same place I’ve been in for months. Everything’s fallen A P A R T. Why couldn’t I have a normal life like all the other kids at school? It’s not fair. None of this is fair. Nobody understands how much I hate this. I never wanted to be diagnosed with this cancer, to wither away and die so young. I want to have a life, to go to school. I want to grow up, get married, have children, and die old and warm in my bed peacefully. Not like this.

    Rob has been with me the entire time, but he’s been acting differently ever since the horrible news. He’s quieter than usual, and it’s like a flame inside of him died. I think that he’s suffering as much as I am. Because of me, he’s had a hard time focusing on anything. He’s been so anxious and worried. He’s skipped school and stopped seeing his friends just to come visit me. I tell him that it’s not worth it. He can let me go, leave me. I think it’d be better if he left me because I don’t want to cause him so much grief. I don’t deserve him anymore.

    Just about a week ago, I expected another chance to rebuild my life again. I’ll never get it. Ever.

  4. Waldner (Post author)

    Kaity T’s journal writing for this project: She wrote from Rob’s perspective!

    Today is a Good Day
    Posted on May 11, 2012
    This journal entry is completely fictional as are the characters and scenarios depicted. It is based off of the short story “The Michele I Know” by Alison Lohans. It is a response to what happens afterwards to one of the characters. If you want to read this story, go to this link:

    Rob’s Journal

    May 3, 2012

    Today was Michelle’s funeral. I hated today. I hate that I knew Michelle. If I didn’t know her I wouldn’t be sad right now I hate that Michelle had to die. We all thought that when she was on remission, that this hell would be over, but I guess not. Why did she die? She had been free of cancer for 6 months. We were back together. No more awkwardness, just me and her, no stupid cancer between us. This would be easier if we’d of never met. It wasn’t her fault. It was the stupid cancers fault. Why can’t things be back to the way they used to be? She’d come to my football games, we’d hang out for hours, we’d be a couple. Not anymore.

    They asked me to give a eulogy or something like that. I said no. Why the heck did I say no? Why’d they ask me in the first place? It’s not like we had anything in common. We were in love, I think. I was in love. I thought things would be fine by now. The cancer would be gone, and my Michelle would be back. Even if she didn’t have hair. I hate myself for not seeing her more. I hate her! I hate the cancer that took her from me. Why can’t I have a normal life? I don’t want to be one of those dweebs they interview on Oprah who cry for an hour after their girl dies. Why couldn’t I just meet a girl and be with her forever? Everybody does it. I’d have a normal life if I’d never of met Michele. I’d have a normal life if Michele never got cancer.

    Everybody won’t leave me alone. The teachers pity me, the principal keeps talking to me, and the stupid counselor won’t leave me alone, and half the class tears up when they see me. My life shouldn’t be this. If it weren’t for Michele it wouldn’t be like this. If it weren’t for Michele’s cancer, my life wouldn’t be like this. Nobody gets it. Maybe her parents, or that guy down the street who’s sister died of some disease or anybody else who had really lost somebody to a disease. Not just knew them, but knew them as a person. What they liked, their favorite animal, what made them cry. My friends don’t get it. The teachers absolutely don’t get it. They lie and say they do, but they don’t.

    People get over this crap, but how. The counselor what’s-her-face says it’ll be easier if I talk. Talk about what? She wouldn’t care. I’m not that stupid. She’d sit in a chair and just nod every once in a while. Stupid cancer.

    Why did Michele die? She didn’t do anything wrong but be an angel. She was perfect. Maybe God is punishing me? I don’t go to church, but does that mean I’m damned or something like that? Is that a reason to kill somebody? Because of my life? Maybe things are better this way. Maybe she is better dead. She should be alive. Alive and with me and her family and her friends. Not in the ground. The funeral was nice and all, but that’s all. There wasn’t anything about who she was; only that she was dead. Dead because of stupid cancer. Why can’t the doctors do something? Where does all that money go that we fundraise? Why didn’t Michele try harder? Michele was defenseless. The cancer took her. Took her from me. Why!

    August 15th, 2012

    I didn’t graduate. My marks were crap anyways. I quit the football team a week after the funeral, and I dropped a few classes. One month later the teachers started to stop pitying me. Two months later I dropped out. My parents are mad, but they don’t get it. Nobody does. Michele wrecked my life. Michele’s cancer wrecked my life. Today I’m staying home, again. That’s all I do lately. I’d be a sight to see if I ever left. My hairs grown out and I’ve gain 15 pounds. Or was it 16. I only leave to get food when I’m out and to hang out with the gang. I met them about a month after Michele died. They understand, especially Rick. He’s never met anybody who had cancer, but he just gets it. He dropped out of school 3 years ago. I got to call him one of these days. He cares about me and what I’m going through. He does some drugs, but I really don’t care. He’s happy, and I’m happy, I guess.

    My dad is trying to get me to go back to school this fall. That’s likely. Who needs school anyways? Rick and the gang have their own business of some sort, and they’re making a lot of cash. I’m not sure what kind of business it is, but if it pays good, than who cares? And why should I go back to school? I’ve been through crap; I’ve lost my girlfriend for Pete’s sake. I should get a break. I’m 19 years old; I still have my life ahead of me.

    I hate this house. I got to get out, but I have nothing to do. I don’t want to do anything. It’s all because of Michele. It’s all because of Michele’s cancer. Stupid cancer. I haven’t talked to anybody about the whole cancer stuff except for Rick. My parents are worried, but they don’t understand. They don’t care. I really don’t care anymore. All I really cared about before was Michele and football. Now both are gone. I loved Michele. Then she got cancer, which I hated. I hate her! I hate the cancer that took her from me. Today is a bad day. Any day that I remember Michele is a bad day.

    January 13, 2013

    I found out what Rick and the gangs business was about a month ago. He’s been selling crack for about a year now. At first I wasn’t that cool with it, but then I tried it. I forgot everything. I forgot about Michele, and her cancer, and the hospital, and football, and my parents, and this hole that I’ve dug my life into. It was all gone. I forgot about my pain. My parents don’t know. I told them that I’m doing some extra courses online to get some credits or something like that, but I’ve just been doing stuff. It’s not like they care.

    Michele has been dead for at least a year now, and I’ve accepted what happened. She’s dead, and I’m dead to the world. Everything is pretty much good, especially now with my new best friend. The bad part of these good days is that it doesn’t last long. I remember about half an hour after I’ve forgotten. Luckily my college fund is full. I can keep on forgetting. Thank God. When I think about it, I really could turn my life around, but what would be the point? Michele had the best marks in our class, she was captain of the cheer squad, and she was mine. But she’s dead. God didn’t save her, or whatever it is that our neighbor is always trying to talk to me about. She’s dead. If her great life didn’t save her, how is it going to save me? We’re all going to die in the end anyways. What’s the point in creating a life where you succeed when it’s all going to go to waste anyways? Michele’s gone, and I’m trying to forget.

    Rick just walked in. He’s got some more stuff. Today is a good day. Any day that I forget is a good day.

    This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged cancer, drugs, fictional, journal, short story, The Michele I Know by Lord of the Rings Fan.


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